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THE VT » Blog Archive » Fleet Foxes ~ Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes ~ Fleet Foxes


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There are two things you need to keep in mind in order to appreciate the greatness of the Fleet Foxes (band and album):

a) The best definition of them that I’ve read is: Beach-Boys-as-Appalachian-Folk-Group.

b) Because of 1., you MUST sing along with them.

I’ve got the album (Fleet Foxes) and the EP that they released earlier this year (Sun Giant), so I’ll tell you about both of them. I’ll start with the easiest track and from there move on to less accessible stuff. If you don’t like them at first try to have a bit of patience, and if after that you still don’t like them then disregard the rest.

1. White Winter Hymnal

The best example of a) and b) working together is the track “White Winter Hymnal”. Listen and sing along, otherwise the magic won’t work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCzIw4W7fdQ

I was following the pack // all swallowed in their coats //with scarves of red tied ’round their throats // to keep their little heads
from fallin’ in the snow // And I turned ’round and there you go // And, Michael, you would fall // and turn the white snow red as strawberries // in the summertime

This is definitely the easiest song in the album. Lovely tune with simple yet charming lyrics, perfect. After you’re done listening to the voices focus on the music and you’ll start noticing the Appalachian influence lurking in the background.

2. Mykonos (x 2)

This is not in the album, but in the EP they released earlier this year. They should have included this in the album, at least as a bonus track because it’s brilliant. I’ve got two versions of it, the “normal” one and an alternate take.

If you like the Appalachian vibe of the previous track then go for the normal version. I like how in the middle of the song the song changes.

If you’re not much of a fan of the added voices, etc. then go for the alternate take. The lyrics change and it’s more straightforward (you don’t get that abrupt change in the middle of the song).

To me, the normal version sounds merry whereas the alternate take is more dramatic.

3. Sun Giant

Unfortunately, this track isn’t in the album either. A few years ago I think I saw an advert with someone singing over and over again “I like horses.” After a few days, I remember I was in the bus and suddenly the song started playing in my head and I realised that hey! I do like horses, who doesn’t. Anyway, I got the same effect with this song, for after a while I was thinking: sigh.. what I life I lead in the summer, WHAT A LIFE I LEAD IN THE SPRING!, what a life…

4. Drops in the River

Wait until you get to the “here as the days of my memory fade…” bit (about 2.00mins), for that’s when the cool bit to sing along starts, then it goes “LET IT GOOOOOOOOO” with some lovely percussions in the background, then “ONLY YOU, ONLY YOOOUU, YOU KNOW,” then the same bit again. Fantastic!

The only unfortunate thing about this song is that it’s not in the album either.

5. He Doesn’t Know Why & Your Protector

These two are in the album. It’s not that they’re not as good as the others, you have to look at it as if it were a journey, and now that you’ve listened to the easy stuff you are ready for these two. For “He Doesn’t Know Why” it’s easy to get into the “There’s nothng, I can doooooo” bit, but after a while you’ll appreciate the stuff he sings before that (which is basically the other half of the song). In regards to “Your Protector,” after the chorus you get to what I think is the most Appalachian part of both the record and the ep (I think it’s because the drums sound very cliché).

You might have noticed that I do like the album, but I prefer the EP: therefore, in conclusion I recommend that you buy the EP (it’s only about £5) and download White Winter Hymnal.

I had the opportunity to see them (twice!) a couple of weeks ago, but I was lazy and didn’t think people were interested in the Fleet Foxes. I was a bit surprised to find out that by the time I tried to buy tickets they were sold out; moreover, yesterday I saw the album displayed in the front rack at the virgin megastore (or zavvi or whatever it’s called now) next to Coldplay’s Viva la Vida. Wow!

I’m glad I couldn’t buy tickets though because that meant I had a couple extra tenners to spend in other stuff, and since lately I’ve been saying goodbye to quite a few people then I think it’s good that I got to spend more time with them; furthermore, I do like them, but not enough to feel bad because I didn’t get to see them live.

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Here’s some other music I’ve been listening to:

Glam Chops: Very glam. This seems to be a side project by the man from Art Brut. I might see them live next week. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=332818771

<<ATTN. LEMON JELLY FANS >> Gilbert: This man sounds like the spiritual successor to the greatness of lemon jelly. The only place where I’ve seen they sell his album is Rough Trade. £12 is too much, but I know I’m weak and will end up getting it sometime. http://www.myspace.com/gilbertlinley

The Bookhouse Boys: They remind me of that song in Pulp Fiction. Actually, I think they remind me too much of that song, which subtracts a few points because even though they have potential, I want new stuff. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=58243270

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Finally, stuff I’ll be listening to in july:

Yesterday I bought ‘Be Your Own Pet ~ Get Awkward’ and ‘Art Brut ~ Bang Bang Rock & Roll’, so I’ll be listening to those and to something else (Gilbert most likely, he’s BRILLIANT!).

Ps. Here’s a funny story:

I went to see the Sex & the City movie last weekend. During the credits I read that one of the characters was referred to as “The Rapist” and felt confused because I couldn’t remember any rapists in the movie. Then I thought it must have been a side story that happened in the background and I would have to see the film again and pay attention to what the extras are doing (the kind of thing artsy movies force you to do). Finally, I realised it didn’t mention a rapist, it actually said “Therapist” haha.

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